RBC Canadian Open

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Oakdale Golf & Country Club

Rory McIlroy

Quick Quotes

Q. What a day. I mean, you've been flawless the last two days with the ball striking pretty much, keep giving yourself a ton of looks. How fun is it out there with this crowd trying to get you to three more.

RORY McILROY: It is. It's a lot of fun. I got off to a great start. 3-under through that first nine holes I felt was a really good effort. Kept it going through the first part of the back nine. Then the putter went a little cold on me over those last five holes. But, yeah, overall, it's great to put myself in with a shot tomorrow. There's a lot of people up there around the lead, so it's going to be a fun day.

Q. I thought you were way better today with the wedges, the last couple days. You got some shots hole high. Unlucky on 7. But I thought when you hit those short irons, so many of them hole high, like that it's a great sign, no?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, much better. Really struggled with that part of the game on Thursday. Went and did some practice Thursday afternoon. I got a good feel and yeah, as you said, definitely the approach play over the last couple days has been a lot better. So looking for more of that tomorrow.

Q. Before we let you go, can you just talk to 14 and the energy at 14?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, it's great. It's a lot of fun. It's really loud. But it's really cool. The one thing Harry said to me walking up 14, he said, Thank God that the people in Phoenix aren't this close to the tee box as they are here. So there's just the right amount of people for how close they are. But, yeah, it's a lot of fun, it creates a great atmosphere and fun to be a part of.

Q. Last year at this tournament I asked you if a win would have meant a little bit more with all that was going on in the world of golf. So how about this week and this year?

RORY McILROY: Look, I would love to win the Canadian Open for the third time. I've never won a tournament three times in a row. I felt like last year the win wasn't just for me it was for a few other things. But this one, this year, if I were able to get over the line, will be solely for me.

Q. You said earlier in the week that the course can become a bit of a sanctuary. Has that feeling grown sort of over this week?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, for whatever reason I seem to play better when there's a little bit of noise going in the world of golf. Yeah, it is. It's really nice to get inside the ropes and just concentrate on my job at the end of the day, which is trying to get the ball around the golf course. So, yeah, it's been a nice reprieve with everything else going on and happy to be playing well.

Q. Did you think that today was going to have to be a little bit of an all gas, no brake situation with the scoring?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, I think with what Nick did early on, sort of seeing Tommy go low, yeah, it was sort of one of those days where, yeah, conditions were better, a little warmer, golf course played shorter. With the rain yesterday it was still quite receptive. So, yeah, it was prime for scoring. So you sort of knew you needed to -- and it's not, I don't think you have to force the issue. Because that front nine, it does play, it played easier today than it has done the last couple days. But it's really that back nine you need to take advantage of. But it was nice to sort of have what I felt was a cushion after playing the front nine so well.

Q. How much does this week feel like deja vu from last year at St. George's?

RORY McILROY: Honestly, it feels like every week there's something new. So it's like, just drama, part of a soap opera, unfortunately. But, yeah, it does. Yeah, as I said at the start of the week, I feel terrible for RBC and this tournament because they're such a great supporter of the TOUR and they have just been really unlucky the last couple years with all the noise surrounding their tournament.

Q. Were you distracted by the drone on 18?

RORY McILROY: Yeah. Yeah, I've never been a big fan of that drone. Just the buzzing sound, it just doesn't -- sort of feel like I can't get settled over the ball. I can sort of still hear it in the background.

Q. With how crowded the leaderboard is going into tomorrow, is it a put the foot on the pedal, on the gas and go?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, it feels eerily similar to the last two tournaments. I was tied for the lead with Webb at Hamilton in 2019. Then last year with Tony and JT. Looks like there could be a lot of guys up around the lead tomorrow. So it's going to be really interesting day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
133822-1-1044 2023-06-10 22:44:00 GMT

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